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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How Georgia becomes the next Auburn

Let’s leave aside all the justified questions about how Auburn arrived at its national championship. It still ended up where it is, becoming the fifth straight SEC team to hoist that weird crystal ball – the one Orson Charles once broke – and the fourth different one over that span.

Some incredible stats about the SEC’s dominance since the BCS began in 1998:

- Seven of the 13 different champions have been from the SEC. That’s more than any other league has won in the history of college football.

- The SEC has had as many different teams win titles in the past five years (four) as the Big Ten has ever had. (Not counting Penn State, which was not in the Big Ten when it won its titles.)

- In the past 13 years, half of the SEC West (Alabama, LSU and Auburn) and one-third one of the East (Florida and Tennessee) have won the national championship.

And yet, for all its history, and its 96 wins since 2001, Georgia is not one of those teams.

Never mind an argument over what’s gone wrong. For the sake of a blog post, let’s say Georgia is going to be that next team to join the party – as a few current and former players tweeted on Monday night. What has to happen?

And I mean next year. Hey, who thought Auburn would do it this year? Here’s my list:

- Justin Houston decides to come back to school. (Not likely, but it’d be a start.)

- Brandon Boykin and Cordy Glenn also decide to come back. (Both possible. We’ll know by Friday.)

- Isaiah Crowell, Jonathan Jenkins, Ray Drew and Malcolm Mitchell sign on the dotted line. (That’s their order of importance for next year, in my opinion. Jay Rome may be a great player, but tight end is not a need position for the Bulldogs in 2011.)

- Crowell’s presence, or at least a general improvement in the running game, take Georgia from ranking 10th in the SEC in rushing offense to at least the top four of the league.

- Aaron Murray not only doesn’t have a sophomore slump, he’s even better. Yeah, it'd be hard to ask him to improve on his stats (24 TD, eight INT, more than 3,000 yards) but we're talking national championship here.

- Tavarres King and Orson Charles emerge as big-play receivers, replacing A.J. Green and Kris Durham. It also wouldn’t hurt for Marlon Brown to have a big year.

- The defense makes a big leap in its second year under Todd Grantham (Gran-tham, people, not Gra-ham). After ranking seventh in the SEC this year in scoring defense and fourth in total defense, it moves up to at least fourth in scoring defense and in the top three in total defense.

More importantly, the rush defense (seventh in the SEC this year) and pass defense (sixth) each rank in the top three.

- Jarvis Jones, playing outside linebacker, is a force. The transfer from Southern California records at least eight sacks and 20 quarterback pressures. (I’m assuming he replaces Houston.)

- Either Christian Robinson, Marcus Dowtin or Richard Samuel steps up to fill the Akeem Dent, tackle-machine role.

- Jenkins, playing nose tackle, allows DeAngelo Tyson to play his more natural end position. If Jenkins doesn’t sign up, Kwame Geathers or Justin “Bean” Anderson make big strides in spring practice and preseason.

Either way, if you watched Nick Fairley in Monday’s game, it’s hard to foresee Tyson playing nose tackle on a national championship team. And that's by no means a shot at Tyson; this team just needs a classic nose guard.

- These returning players firm up after so-so years: Bacarri Rambo, Boykin, Ben Jones, Cornelius Washington and Branden Smith.

- These other newcomers, or ones who didn’t play most of this year, solidify need positions: Damian Swann, Alec Ogletree, Richard Samuel, Kenarious Gates, Ken Malcome (if Crowell doesn’t sign), Abry Jones and Garrison Smith.

- Drew Butler and Blair Walsh don't get any foot infections.

So … yeah … That’s all. Not a huge list, is it?

Next year's championship game is in New Orleans. That's reason enough to dream, isn't it?


Muckbeast said...

Seth, if I didn't know better, I'd say this post was an attempt to calm the "you should be a homer!" crowd. :)

Anyway, good list. Here's to hoping, right?

j.leonardjr said...

Is inception needed for all this to happen?

Anonymous said...

One problem and that is Mark Richt is still the coach.

Ben Fratlock said...

That's all? We are SO money!

NCDawg said...

And Mark Richt focuses on football. I know that's what he should have done all along, and yes I read the Tarkenton rant.

But Richt was a coaching force when he came to Georgia. Then, by his own words, he tried to become a CEO. He is not Bobby Bowden, and Coach Bowden is probably not the right model for Richt. He is a great football coach, already one of the most successful in Georgia's history.

However, Jenkins sure would make me feel better about next year.

Left to Right said...

Yep, don't worry folks. Coach Rick is goin' start studyin' and learin' on the game of football.

We're on our way for sure!!!

Anonymous said...

UGA aint' gonna win a National Championship, too little inexperience at QB, running game stinks, and run defense stinks. Be lucky to get to 9 wins.

Doug said...

Being able to run the ball and stop the run are probably the two most important.

Wes said...

All of the criticisms of Richt's comments on 'focusing on the football' are a bit overblown in light of the situation: Dooley, one of the most experienced ADs in the country leaves and is replaced by Evans, one of the least experienced ADs (and who was arguably a political move so that Mike Adams could keep him in his pocket). With an inexperienced AD, Richt has to take up more of the administrative oversight for the program. McGarity, a very experienced AD, allows Richt to get back to the Xs and Os of being a headcoach by picking up some of the admin duties that Evans didn't do/didn't know how to do. It makes sense to. Let's give him the 2011 season that he's earned and see what he can do.

BicDawg said...

There aint nothing at AU that I want to emulate. Their whole program is trash. It used to be good coaches coached thugs. Au has taken to a new level with Thug coaches. Everyone in the country knows AU didnt win the game w/o the help of the officials. Yes I want UGA to win a NC but not that way AU thugged their way to a national title.

Joeski said...

Like the content, but don't care much for the title, Seth. I was watching that game last night saying to myself "this is justification for the 'win at all costs' crowd."

I'm hoping Richt turns it around, because it would be so sweet to me to not only win the national title, but win it the right way, rather than the Les Miles "oversigning and then screwing over other kids in the program" routine or the Urban Meyer "Lie to potential recruits-- tell them what they want to hear just to get them to come to your program" scam.

It's like when a while back Richt admitted that UGA recruited Newton as a TE: although many people bitched about it, I was proud that our coaches were honest given that they run a pro-style offense which Newton's skill-set isn't the best fit for, and didn't just try and get the kid to the school and then change his position. (Unlike what Meyer tried to pull with Snead, telling him they were recruiting Tebow as a LB.)

Congratulations to Auburn, but I don't want to sacrifice the integrity of my Alma Mater for an athletics trophy. When the Red and Black carry the day, we'll do it the right way.

Anonymous said...

Bic Dawg: There aint nothing at AU that I want to emulate. Their whole program is trash. It used to be good coaches coached thugs. Au has taken to a new level with Thug coaches. Everyone in the country knows AU didnt win the game w/o the help of the officials. Yes I want UGA to win a NC but not that way AU thugged their way to a national title.

Some dirty play by Auburn, as usual, and Trooper look like an idiot, but do you seriously think Auburn somehow bribed or manipulated Big-10 officials in a nationally televised and scrutinized game? Please, lol.

AaronGreen said...

It's not that far a stretch.

Second year for Aaron Murray. He's light years ahead of Greene and Stafford at this same point. Look at there Sophmore seasons. 13 and 11 wins. Those are the two best Ga teams since we won it all.

Second year in the 3-4. Just as an example look at Alabama in there second year compared to there first. No matter what anyone has to say about Grantham he is a good defensive coordinator. He was a defensive coordinator in the NFL! I have no doubt that if he didn't take the Ga position he would be the defensive coordinator for the Cowboys right now.

I'm not blaming our players cause they are just kids but especially in the case of Grantham, and Searles they are great coaches. Other schools would love to have them. They didn't forget how to coach. Also on the defensive side of the ball we hired all new position coaches and had minimal improvement at pretty much every position.

I think they were just relearning how to do everything the actuall right way to do them. These are just kids so I guess it's gonna take more than one season to unlearn all those bad habits Martinez taught.

Nobody expects anything from us next year. That's the way I like it right now. No expectations. Were the underdogs.

BicDawg said...

anon 1210. I didnt say bribed or manipulated. I just said they didnt win it w/o the help of officials. I saw 4 game changing calls that went AU way. If AU won 40-10 then those calls dont matter. When it is close they do. Obviously AU gets the win and the NC. But the whole world sees a different picture. Im with joeski. win it right or I dont want it at all.

Furthermore do you think Barnhart and other commentators etc saying that Cam overcame adversity to bring them there was healthy for CF? The adversity and public outcry was brought on by himself. He was the reason people spoke out against the AU program.

PTC DAWG said...

I agree, I want UGA to be NOTHING like Auburn.

Buncha of oversigning/cheating SOBS.

Anonymous said...

This is a little off the subject but the top 4 schools in the SEC in terms of resources (which I recognize encompasses a LOT) are LSU, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. The others are not at that level (Auburn and Tennessee included).

We underachieve more than a lot of our fanbase realizes.

OZAM said...

Become the next Auburn? No thanks.

Although the current state of our program (on and off the field) hardly gives us much for which to be proud.

Anonymous said...

Just saw where Jenkins committed. C'monnnn dream team.

Anonymous said...

I mean decomitted (from Ok St.)

Rick said...


Andy said...

If this year should have taught us anything, it is that there is not a huge difference between a mediocre SEC team and a national champion. UGA played with Auburn the entire game, and I think most would agree that Auburn is an 8 or 9 win team if they don't have SCam Newton. Auburn didn't have a great D, or a great O-line. All a team needs is one or two playmakers on either side of the ball, and to play consistent without mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Why not follow the AU path, pay players. Celebrate the championship, worry about the consequences later. The NCAA can take away the championship and the wins, but they can't take away the feeling AU alumni felt last night. If NCAA is going to act slowly we need to work the system.

Paul said...

Jenkins de-committed from Ok State so the odds of landing him may have just gone up!

Scott said...

Anon @ 10:42 AM has the wrong coach. The problem is Mike Booboo is still offensively coordinating!

ChrisDawg said...

Just saw where Jenkins decommited from Ok State!

I have a better fealing about getting him now then before after reading some of his comments. Out of all the teams hes looking at now Ga is obviously the best fit for him. 3-4 defense, and immediate playing time.

There's no telling how good Jenkins is going to be but if he could even give us a little of that Fairley-Suh type disruptive play from the dt position then we would be greatly improved next year.

I personally think that Fairley was the best player on the field last night. They wouldn't of gotten there without Newton but they wouldn't of won without Fairley. Fairley is possibly the most disruptive defensive player I have seen in the SEC.

We have some great talent to play at the DE positions in Tyson, and Abry. If we could get a giant nose tackle like Jenkins we could have one of the best d-lines in the SEC next season.

Rght now we appear to be in the lead for Jenkins, Crowell, and Rome. Some others I'm not so sure about like Ray Drew. I wouldn't be surprised if we got them all though. I also wouldn't be surprised if we got some other big time recruits that aren't even being mentioned right now.

This could be the best recruiting class we have had since Richt arrived. Considering how great of a recruiter Richt has been so far that woud be huge. Some people act like we don't recruit well even though we have had top ten classes in every year but one under Richt.

Another reason I don't think we should be so quick to get rid of Richt. Ga has always had talent but we have never recruited as consistently as we have with Richt. Most programs would kill for a top ten recruiting class yet we get them almost every year. A lot of fans I believe have taken this for granted. Other SEC schools and programs like Ga Tech would love for us to fire Richt!

If this season has showed me anything it's that a lot of Ga fans are delusional. While I have extremely high expectations for us also as a program we are not looked at from the outside as being on par with Fla, Bama, Texas, Michigan, Ohio State, and some others. Many fans wanted Harbraugh, or Peterson. Ga is not looked at as the elite job that some fans think it is. Outside of three years with Herschel Walker Mark Richt has by far given us our best seasons. When I hear some fans talk I wonder if they know the history of this program. Richt has created these expectations you have.

Anonymous said...

Wes... Like Fran Tarkenton said thats a cop out.

Anonymous said...

2011 - New Orleans or bust.

UGA69Dawg said...

Hey we need a Nose Tackle let's just go out and buy one like Auburn does.We need more players let's over sign this class and cut the dead wood out. We're UGA and we won't do that and guess what we won't ever win a BCS NC but we can feel morally superior to those who do.

Dog44 said...

Thanks, Seth. This is the kind of post we love.

(No, I don't actually believe it will all happen, but I think it's a good assessment of where we're at right now.)

One more that I would add... Whatever changes Joe T. makes to the S&C program create an immediate and noticeable difference.

Anonymous said...

Im sorry Seth, but what's with your Auburn "All In" love affair with Crowell?

I get the notion that he'd be a great addition as a recruit, but he's still an unproven highschool RB. While the extent of the hype (thanks in part to you) is a tad bit greater than with Ealy and King, I think it's suffice to say that they both haven't panned out exactly how we "expected" them to.

All Im saying is that you seem to waver heavily on Isaiah as being THE key to this teams woes (ie your previous post about him being the single most important piece to next season).

BuLLdawg said...

Former players saying Mark Richt is not getting the job done :



Herschel Walker 2 weeks ago

Fran Tarkenton last week

By winning percentage during the BCS era in SEC games :

1.Urban Meyer 38-13 74.51
2.Nick Saban 56-20 73.68
3.Gene Chizik 12-05 70.59
4.Les Miles 34-16 68.00
5.Phillip Fulmer 62-30 67.39
6.Jim Donnan 16-08 66.67
7.Ron Zook 16-08 66.67
8.Mark Richt 55-28 66.27

Aaron Murray :

# 62 in nation at getting sacked
1.9 yards per carry 87 carries
# 55 in nation in 3rd down conversions
# 56 in nation total offense
# 72 in nation 1st downs
lost to 2 not Top 25 final AP teams
lost to all 5 Top 25 final AP teams
lost most games since lost 7 in 1957
beat 6 teams ALL with LOSING RECORDS

Seth Emerson says : "Yeah, it'd be hard to ask Aaron Murray to improve on his stats"

? ? ?

And, by the way, Marcus Dowtin is OFF THE TEAM. Remember arrested assault in Maryland after Mark Richt recruited him from Fort Union Military Academy in Maryland ? Held out of the bowl loss on yet a different transgression.

Anonymous said...

"Justin Houston decides to come back to school. (Not likely, but it’d be a start."

"it'd" - Now what part of the south are from "it'd" like "it'll" know like "it'll be alright...or is it like "it'sum"...."it'sum good bar-b-que sauce...

We like it!

BuLLdawg said...

It'd be nice to have Georgia DOT Commissioner Vance C. Smith, Jr. to have some snow plows someday soon.

Just as It'd be nice to not be like this :

By winning percentage during the BCS era in SEC games :

1.Urban Meyer 38-13 74.51
2.Nick Saban 56-20 73.68
3.Gene Chizik 12-05 70.59
4.Les Miles 34-16 68.00
5.Phillip Fulmer 62-30 67.39
6.Jim Donnan 16-08 66.67
7.Ron Zook 16-08 66.67
8.Mark Richt 55-28 66.27

Anonymous said...

Snow plows for once every 10 years? Come on.

Anonymous said...

Dawg fans are just so positive. It helps so much to see how much we support our team after a few rough seasons.

I hate it, but the fact is Georgia has the most fair weather fans of any team in the country. Period...

Joeski said...

Pro-Tip: if you click on the icon next to a poster's name, it will minimize their comment and you won't subjected to their tripe, even in passing. Just wish that feature would carry over from post to post.